We all have this invisible barrier between us and the world, and when we go beyond this barrier; this is when we start to feel an almighty sense of stress. Our comfort zone is like a security blanket, and when we start to experience life outside of this comfort zone, we can fall prey to a whole manner of stress and tension.

Naturally, we try to stay within our comfort zone, by living the lives we want to lead. But there will be moments or long stretches of time where we end up outside of this, and we live on the edge, and fall into so many bad habits. What we need to do at this point is to look after ourselves. How can we look after ourselves when we are living a life outside of our purpose-built comfort zone?

Identifying Your Stress Triggers

It’s not just about what stresses you out, but it’s also about the habits that you could fall into as a result of this. For example, smoking is one of those things that we can continue to fall back onto as the result of something stressful.

It’s almost like it’s a comforting thing, puffing away, but if we’ve spent years trying to give up the deadly cigarette, we could find ourselves falling back into these horrible habits that are detrimental to our health. Naturally, there are substitutes, such as e-liquids with over 60 flavors, nicotine patches, and so many others, but once we identify the causes of these stress triggers and where we retreat to, we can start to make healthier swaps.

Understanding our stress triggers can also give us the opportunity to tackle these. When we have anxieties about something, it’s usually the result of our perceived attitudes towards the problem. After all, if we feel we’re not in control of something, this is why we get stressed and anxious.

Or if we don’t understand another point of view of the situation, we start to feel that we have to retreat into our shell. When we understand our own triggers, we’ve got a better chance of addressing them.

Learning To Look After Ourselves

It is a fine art, practicing self-care. But when we figure out that we succumb to certain stresses, we can start to prioritize ourselves. Perhaps we are going through stressful circumstances because of our job, or our family, essentially, these things that we are not able to control.

As such, we might feel that we want to run away from it, but we have to earn money or we need to put on a brave face for our family because they are our family! But this means we need to figure out a good balance in which to prioritize ourselves.

If you’re not looking after yourself already, start with the basic things. You can argue that running away from a situation is not a problem but you can say that it’s being tactical in minimizing your stress. It’s all about that fine balance. But on a basic human level, looking after ourselves is about ensuring we have the right fuel in our bodies, but also understanding where we develop our fears from.

Something as simple as feeling panicked means that, on a symptomatic level, we breathe fast. So we can minimize this by breathing slow and deep. It’s something that so many of us don’t think about, especially when going through a stressful situation.

But by learning how to focus on our breath and calmly inhale and exhale, not only are we learning how to thrive in the eye of the storm, but we are minimizing those stressful symptoms. They say we should all practice meditating, but if we can practice being calm by learning to breathe deeper first, we’ll feel the benefits in so many other areas of our lives.

Planning For A Better Future

If we’re not in our comfort zone, it may very well be due to the fact that we have no semblance of structure. Learning to prioritize and organize our lives is an essential component, because this gives us the opportunity to figure out what’s important to us, but also take appropriate steps in the right direction to live the life that we want.

When we are outside of our comfort zone, we have this sensation of being in limbo. And while we need to not sweat the small stuff, if we don’t feel we are in control of the big things in our lives, this will naturally fuel our feelings of anxiety.

We can prioritize and organize our lives to an extent, but at the same time, we need to not agonize over every little detail. Perfectionism is the downfall of a negative mindset after all. It’s about learning what is important and what is not.

Aging is a wonderful thing because we start to learn how unimportant a lot of these things are. So if we start now, and learn what is actually important to us, we can live our lives the way we want.

Eradicating The Idea Of A Comfort Zone

But in addition to these ideas, we would benefit from either expanding our comfort zone, which we can do gradually, or get rid of this idea completely. Some people thrive outside of their comfort zone. But the vast majority of us do not enjoy it. In some respects, it’s about learning to make the most of stress.

Remember, some stress is good for us, but an overdose of it has long-term consequences. Getting out of our comfort zone is the one true way to, at the very least, eradicate the idea of it. But at the same time, when we start to go through stressful situations, if we have the tools in which to cope with it, we won’t necessarily feel out of our comfort zone.

Stress is a killer, but if we have this comfort zone wrapped around us, we may not necessarily feel the benefits of living an adventurous life. When we get out of our comfort zone we will feel symptomatic moments of stress and tension, but if we learn that a lot of these things aren’t going to kill us, we will look after ourselves better.


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Jamie Sanders is a freelance writer for many media outlets. She married her soulmate and writer, Dennis Sanders. They live in Boston with their two dogs.

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